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The pheasant dinner - thanks everone for helping!

AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
edited 6:53PM in EggHead Forum
I was able to use almost everyone's suggestions to pull this off! I ended up with just wild birds - one was a bit shot up, so I only used the breast from it. They were also skinned, so that made it impossible to do the butter under the skin thing.

Anyway - I read on a game cooking website that pheasant benefits from brining, so I did that for a few hours.

Then I made a "rack" out of celery, and put a few cups of pear cider in the bottom, and sprinkled it with sauerkraut.

The birds got stuffed with a mix of apples, onions, lemons & sauerkraut.

Then they were coated with herbed butter, then topped with thick slices of pancetta.

They went into a very cranky egg that refused to maintain any one temp for about 4 hours. I tried to keep the temp at about 275 - 300, but I cranked it up at the end because I thought they weren't done & I panicked a bit.

They turned out ok - a bit dry, but I am told that's the way they are. hmmmph.

Thanks for all the suggestions & help, and of course, thank you Max for the call walking me through the whole mess!!


  • JLOCKHART29JLOCKHART29 Posts: 5,897
    That looks amazing!!! One of the best looking ones I've seen in a while. Course I'm partial to wild game. ;) Since wild animals have to "work" for a living they tend to be pretty lean and dry out easly. Wild duck will be almost uneatable if cooked to long unlike a tame one which has a lot higher fat content.
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    oh my god... that looks great.

    great job. i jope they understand the amount of effort you put in. that looks incredible.
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    Hi Melissa,,,, great & different...tell me just curious....what is the temp up there now?????
  • Great looking cook and great presentation!
  • dhuffjrdhuffjr Posts: 3,182
    Looking good lady. I've not seen a pheasent in the woods back in my hunting days. Nailed a few quail in my time though. Did you cook up some of the little guys too?

    Dennis "needs to go out and shoot something and grill it" LOL
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    Its pretty warm today - about 41 degrees. Last week it was in the teens and who knows where it will be next week. :)
    We get really cold starting in January and it stays cold until around May.

    do I want to know what the temp is down there?? go ahead and torture me....
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    You know, it really wasn't that much work - I think I put more effort into the research & worrying that I did on the actual cooking :) Everybody really did appreciate it though.

    (we had this as a backup if the birds didn't work out)

  • FlaPoolmanFlaPoolman Posts: 11,671
    Thats a WOW factor of 10 plus. Great looking meal.
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    I didn't have any quail, because my FedEx box of farm raised birds didn't make it in time. I got these ones from a friend that shot them somewhere in the lower 48.

    The funny thing was the friend that shot the pheasants was at dinner, and it turns out he had a bunch of quail too, and if I had only asked I could have had some.... geeeez.
  • that looks great
  • BeliBeli Posts: 10,751
    :laugh: :laugh: :laugh: Melissa, the Holy Inquisition reports a freezing 70° F Temp...enough to have the heating turned on in the house all day....brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. :whistle:
  • TomM24TomM24 Posts: 1,364
    Wow they do look stunning. Is that garlic or shallots in the brine?
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Wow Melissa, Great job! I'm sure your father was over whelmed at your gesture. The pics turned out great too. Now I know who to ask if I ever undertake such an endeaver. Did the quails make to the table? What exactly was the emergency meat? Pork? Beef? It looked good too!
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    ooooooh that sounds perfect!!

    My aunt & uncle are thinking about moving to Mexico - I hope they do so I can come visit!!
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    The funky white chunks are ice cubes :) But there was garlic, cranberries, celery, onions, lemons, oranges, sage, thyme, rosemary....... basically everything in my fridge!
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    great job. i don't know why max is always saying you don't know what you are doing! :whistle:
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • AlaskanCAlaskanC Posts: 1,346
    The emergency meat was a 20lb prime rib (plus a little 4 pounder on the bottom rack).
    I didn't get my quails in the mail (I'm sure I will get them tomorrow), so we had wild pheasants that a friend shot last month.

    The weird thing is that if you transport wild shot pheasants they still have to have the heads on them so you can tell if its a male or female. That was an interesting surprise to say the least.

    I thought the cats would find them interesting but they reallllly didn't. :)

  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    they look really good...
  • Big'unBig'un Posts: 5,909
    Dang, prime rib as a back up? No trouble with leftovers at your house! :P Did your Dad have a great time? BTW, I love the pheasant heads, I figured your cat would nuts over them.
  • they look great melissa!!. ..glad it all turned out so good. . .happy birthday to george!!
  • Looks AWESEOME. Big bird hunter here (going to the Panhandle for a 4 day pheasant, duck, goose hunt this coming weekend) and you have inspired me!

    I may try the old dove trick and throw a breasted pheasant (presumptious of my hunt, I know) into a dutch oven, nearly covered with stock, aromatics and other goodies (veggies, etc). Hmmm...
  • Awesome cook and presentation Melissa! I bet your dad will remember this birthday meal....Congrats on putting all your research together and then adjusting on the "fly"...

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